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Originally published Monday, October 29, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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Matt & Kim get the party started at The Neptune

Matt & Kim, quirky and fun pop duo from Brooklyn, N.Y., will perform in Seattle on Oct. 30, 2012.

Special to The Seattle Times

Concert preview

Matt & Kim

8 p.m. Tuesday, the Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th, Seattle; $21 (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).
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Brooklyn pop duo Matt & Kim have built a solid fan base with hyperactive and playful live shows. On their latest release, "Lightning," the pair managed to capture the raw energy of their infectiously fun live show with an album of upbeat songs full of fist-pumping choruses.

Matt & Kim, composed of Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums/vocals), play the Neptune Theatre, Tuesday.

Johnson recently spoke on the phone prior to the band's kickoff of a 39-date tour of the U.S. that allows very little rest between shows — a fact that doesn't seem to faze him.

"Sure we get exhausted, but what really keeps that energy up is walking out on that stage to people who are really excited for this show — this party," Johnson said. "It's like showing up and the other 1,000 people in your band are all there and they're pumped for practice."

Many of the songs on "Lightning" are framed by a sense of urgency. Songs like "Let's Go," "Now" and "Overexposed" are all fueled by synth-driven melodies, uptempo drums and choruses that are designed for audience participation. Lyrically and thematically the party is just getting started and Matt & Kim demand you get on board.

"Our music is not about sitting down on your couch with a cup of tea. It's more about flipping your couch over and throwing a chair at the wall," Johnson said.

For the song "Now" the band released a lyric video that also comes with a warning about the possibility of seizures caused by the frenzied strobe effects in it.

"When we saw the rough version of it, we thought 'this is intense, this is going to piss people off,' but that's kind of perfect for this song," Johnson said. "We don't want to play things safe, we want to take chances with things like that."

On stage Matt & Kim have always been about goofy fun and taking chances to crank up the intensity.

At the Sasquatch Music Festival in 2011 Schifino stood on top of her kick drum and encouraged the audience to get into the music. Later she ventured from behind her kit, and as the audience lifted her up on their hands, she did a booty dance — much to the crowd's delight.

Matt & Kim have also found success in licensing their music for commercial use, which Johnson understands might offend some die-hard fans.

"I do understand that music is special and sometimes people feel like when you're giving it away to other people, you're taking away from them," Johnson said. "That is not the case with us. When we get on that stage we're all about them and they're all about us. We're all about each other. We're all doing it together, and I think that's something people connect to."

Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or jalbertson@seattletimes.com

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